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REVIEW: The Oppo Find N could be your number one foldable smartphone this year

Foldable Smartphones have a bigger screen, are easy to hold and are compact enough to carry around

A lot of people have said that 2022 is the year when foldable phones will finally become one of the most popular mobile form factors. If this is indeed the future, the OPPO Find N could very well be the pioneer that kick-starts this trend.

Of course, we have already seen a few existing foldable models in the market, such as, the Xiaomi Mix Fold, Samsung fold series, and the flip series. However, all of them didn’t really stir up a wide discussion about the new form factor. Basically, their high pricing would dissuade most users at the outset.

But around the end of 2021, the OPPO Find N was launched with a much more reasonable price and a pretty unique look as well.

The pricing is the very first step that makes foldable accessible and builds up curiosity among general users to learn more about this unique form factor. And now that foldables are becoming more and more affordable, let’s move on to the BIG question – what can we do with a foldable phone in 2022?

OPPO Design and Display

Image: OPPO Find N, side view.</>

If you want a foldable phone, it’s probably because you’d like to have a bigger screen in our pocket, which means that it should also be easy to hold and compact enough to carry.

The Find N features a 7.1-inch internal Samsung E5 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The most controversial part of the display is the near-square ratio. Obviously, it’s not a perfect ratio for playing movies or 16:9 videos. However, when we unfolded the phone for the first time, the display is really stunning. Although it might not be the best size for entertainment, I quite enjoyed the comfortable size that easily covers my view and focus in daily use.

For example, on regular phones, your eyes would unconsciously sweep up and down and your focus might only remain at the middle frame that covers 50 to 70% of the whole display. While the 7.1-inch size is not much bigger physically, but the unique ratio of 8.4 to 9 could expand your view and maintain the concentration at the same time.

In addition, the phone has really comfortable viewing experience for other activities like reading or web-browsing. Especially for reading, the phone works like a fantastic pocket book and the reading app is a surprise that offers an immersive reading experience with physical effects and detail.

And although you won’t get a great experience watching films in 21:9 ratio, it’s almost perfect for most old content played at 4:3 ratio.

Now let’s see what we can do with the 5.5-inch cover display. I have to say that It’s the best outer display among all the foldable phones. If you’ve seen some foldable models like Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Xiaomi Mix Fold, you must understand why I give such a comment.

They compromised the form of the cover display for having a bigger and more normal-ratio primary display. It leads to a display ratio of around 2.5 to 1, bringing a terrible experience. Users can do very little with such a strange display in daily use. On the Find N, you don’t have to put up with such silly design. Its cover display comfortably offers a similar experience to a compact phone. Most people can handle it well with a single hand, though we still need to bear the weight of 275g.

Generally, I only used it for some simple activities like sending or replying to messages, making a call, checking information and so on. And it wouldn’t take me long. So the weight didn’t cause much trouble when I used the phone in folded form.

But it’s still a little disappointing that the small screen only features 60Hz refresh rate, which doesn’t feel as smooth as the primary display.

The flexion Hinge brings pretty wide stand angles and a minimal crease. After using it for over a week, I could hardly find the existence of the crease.

The phone can also be unfolded and freely stand at any angle between 50-120 degrees. And OPPO also offers a pretty wide adaption in actual uses of certain apps, like playing music and videos, turning the bottom part as an operational zone. Or serving itself as a tripod, making 4K time-lapse imaging, video calls or online meeting easy and hands-free.

Software

Image: OPPO Find N in full forms. </>

Apart from it, OPPO also developed quite a lot of software features to better support the unique phone, such as more gestures and easy mini-window-mode. For example, you can easily split the screen for dual-app content by swiping down two fingers or dragging an app from the sidebar.

Apart from it, there’s a lot more potential for the new folding form. I believed some are even not recognized by the manufacturers, which would rely on users and app developers to explore more possibility on the Find N. For example, we’ve seen someone has turned it into a classic game handheld that we used to play at least 15 years ago.

And the switch between the two displays is pretty smooth. When changing the phone folding, the viewing content will immediately shift to the other display. To activate it, all you need to do is just to swipe up from the bottom.

Performance

About the phone’s performance, it’s powered by the Snapdragon 888 chip. We’ve talked a lot about this chipset. You can just check all the results of tests we run here.

On this model, the heating issue is not that serious as what we have on most regular 888-chipset phones. But obviously the CPU strategy is a bit conservative.

Cameras

The phone equipped 5 cameras in total, including the triple-camera setup at the back, and dual 32MP front-facing cameras. The triple cameras contain a 50MP main IMX766 sensor with OIS, a 16MP wide-angle camera and another 13MP 2x telephoto camera. Let’s check some samples.

From the samples, the 50MP main camera can catch rich detail with decent dynamic range. And under most lighting conditions, the white balance is good and stable, which brings a relatively true tone for the samples.

For the 16MP wide-angle camera, its dynamic range is not that impressive as the main camera, but it’s still good at producing sharp images with good pureness. But you might notice that the edge image is not so pure and sharp as the central image.

Image: OPPO Find N Foldable.

During these few days, I truly feel that the 13MP 2x sensor is much more practical and more frequently used than those 3x or 5x telephoto camera. It has pretty close view range to what we actually see. And the detail looks good thanks to the 13MP resolution. No doubt it did exceed what we expected with the telephoto camera.

Thanks to OPPO’s imaging software, all the three cameras got well optimized in low-light shooting. we can see it’s less noisy under the night mode and at the same time, reserved much more detail especially for the brightness.

The biggest surprise of shooting with the foldable form is about video shooting. The free-stand hinge allows us to split the display into a view monitor and an operation hub. And we also can place it on a surface and serve it as a tripod for time-lapse filming.

Battery Life and Charging

Adding a larger foldable display is definitely not a benefit for its battery life. Even though they’ve equipped a 4500mAh battery with support for 33W wired fast charging. But in our battery test and charging test it performs not too bad. At least it’s estimated to last for the whole-day works without playing games a lot.

Our Verdict

The OPPO Find N is probably the most impressive model we got our hands on lately. But more importantly, during this week, there’s no longer the feeling that the phone looks like a toy. Instead, it works like a daily phone without any discomfort. It truly brings a feeling that I can finally get used to a horizontally foldable phone, which has never happened with previous foldable phones. I think most users would get the same realization.

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Joan Banura

A journalist at heart 💜 with a passion for Tech.
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